Friday, October 29, 2010

Ghost Photo

Well, once again the ebb and flow of my life this week didn't allow me to get to writing until it was too late in the day to trouble your Inbox, so, as always, everything you may have missed is here on the blog.

Meanwhile, drive safe this weekend as the day turns to dusk. Little ones will quite possibly be out extorting candy from strangers by use of excessive cuteness.


A photographer went to a castle determined to snap a photo of a ghost that was said to appear at midnight only once every 100 years.

So the photographer waited, sitting in the dark, and suddenly the apparition appears before him.

The ghost turned out to be a friendly one and agreed to pose for the snapshot. The happy photographer grabbed the shot, the ghost disappeared, and the photographer quickly called up the image on his camera's viewscreen ... and then he groaned at the mostly black image.

It seems the spirit was willing but the flash was weak.

[Net 153s Smile A Day]


WEBSITE of the WEEK: It's still that time of year ... have a great youth outing with your church or school at a local corn maze. Find one at But hurry before the weather turns too unbearably brisk.


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

College Chat

We went to a "Regional College Night" at one of our local community colleges this evening. There were probably 30 colleges represented, and another dozen specialized departments of higher educational institutions. Amanda is a Junior in High School and wanted to start thinking about her future.

She's not sure what she wants to do with her life just yet, and if you have a young person in that situation as well, you can do what we did, and encourage her or him to investigate City Year. Gives them another year to think about things while at the same time helping out a community.


A mother and father were chatting with their young son over dinner one evening about the future. He said he'd like to go to college - preferably Cornell, as his parents had done - when he finished with high school.

Pleased with that response, they pressed on and asked the boy what he would like to take when he attended Cornell?

The young man looked around the kitchen while he gave the question some thought. Finally he said, "The refrigerator, if you can get along without it."

[Joe's Clean Laffs]


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:29)


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nice Ad Lib

Being the big baseball fan that I am, I'm happy to say the World Series begins tonight with a pair of teams who haven't played on that big stage for decades. In the case of the Rangers ... ever!

Tonight's match-up of Cy Young candidates Tim Lincecum versus Cliff Lee should be an exercise in how to pitch. You can tune in (the game begins at 7:57 p.m. EST), or follow along via your live blogging hosts at USA Today's Daily Pitch. At least, they usually live blog these things.


There was a knock at my door. It was a small boy, about ten years old. He told me that something of his had found its way into my garage, and he would like it back.

So I invited him in, we walked through the house and, upon opening the door from the kitchen to the garage, I noticed a baseball lying on the floor, and a window sporting a baseball-sized hole a few feet away.

As I retrieved the ball I said, "Huh, how do you suppose this wound up in here?"

The boy was quick, I'll give him that. He pointed to the hole in the window and said, "Wow! I must have thrown it right through that hole!"

[Clean Hewmor via Doc's Daily Chuckle]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: Three-and-a-half years ago I wrote a blog entry to explain some of the more unusual terms in baseball's language. You can find it here. I should probably think about finishing that series at some point.


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Moose Meat

Here's something that I can't see us being domestic enough to do, but I imagine many of you are.

You take one day each month, and make ALL your meals, for the *entire* month.

It's called OAMC. Once A Month Cooking.


A butcher fresh out of his Canadian trade school applies for and receives a job at a meat processing business. His first task is to skin and cut up the wildlife kills of local hunters, chopping them into serving portions.

His very first job is to process a moose and package it for the freezer.

The job takes all day but he finally finishes up. He's got chops, flank steak, ribs, sirloin, etc. all bagged, marked and stored in the freezer. But after he finishes processing all the parts he knows, there's still a small pile of unidentifiable parts.

At a loss as to what to do with them, he bags them up for the freezer, also, and labels the bag:


[Teddi's Humor via Ed Peacher's Laughter for a Saturday]


WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "My favorite animal is steak." (Fran Lebowitz)


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Family issues kept me from e-mailing my Friday post, but you can catch it here. It was my nine hundredth post! NINE HUNDRED!! While you're here, you might enjoy watching a very smart and talented Jack Russell terrier named Jesse. Just down below.

Meanwhile, today is World Pasta Day. Check out your local Fazoli's Restaurant; many of them are having special deals that concern free spaghetti with a nominal purchase.


My friend, Bob, was trying to teach his daughter, Jenny, how to pray "grace" before meals. After a few weeks of coaching, Bob decided Jenny was ready to pray solo the next time company came over for an evening of food and fellowship.

Jenny started out fine, thanking God for her Mommy and Daddy and Sister and Brother and the guests and the rolls and the salad. She ended with a big, "Thank you God, for the spaghetti!" and then she lifted her head.

Bob had taught her the traditional ending to this prayer, however, which was, " Jesus' name, Amen." So Bob had to prompt her. He said, "In..."

At first Jenny was confused, then her face lit up, she bowed her head, and added, "In tomato sauce. Amen."

[Barbara J. Doll in "Kids of the Kingdom" in Christian Reader via Church Laughs Newsletter]


WELCOME to YOUR WEEK: There's one week left in Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Employee Ownership Month, and National Chili Month (October, when the weather starts to get chilly. Coincidence?). It's Pastoral Care Week (be kind to your minister), and International Magic Week. Finally, Wednesday is Navy Day, Thursday is National Chocolate Day, and Saturday is National Forgiveness Day.


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Jack Russell Jesse

Jesse is one smart Jack Russell terrier.

Reminds me of our old dog, Chelsey.

My favorite is the bit with the dishwasher.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Post #900: Hospital Food Vending

Sorry this went up so late ... I received word this afternoon that my father was hospitalized with chest pains and spent some time traveling to and from the hospital. He still has a battery of tests to face and meanwhile, his pain continues. As always, your good thoughts and kind prayers for my 78-year-old Pop (and Mom, o'course) are so much appreciated.



Whenever you take a day off, the cafeteria has to raise prices by 50% just to compensate.

At a department potluck, when someone asked you for your recipe, you told them to "Melt an A-7 and drizzle it over a fresh slice of C-9."

You caught yourself sticking patient files in the microwave for 60 seconds.

Your name appears as a separate line item on the hospital's "Income" balance sheet.

You have more diarrhea than 95% of your patients.

You just tried to insert a dollar into the EKG machine.

[selected from Chris White's Top Five on Medicine]


WEBSITE of the WEEK: It's that time of year ... get all the pumpkin pie recipes you may ever need from Allrecipes at Pumpkin Pie is the only kind my daughter will eat, so you know we're interested in this site!


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Deep Thought

How long can you expect to live?

Residents of the United States currently have an average life expectancy of 78.2 years. There are 37 other countries ahead of us. 41 other countries if you count nations with less than 100,000 in their population. The longest appears to be Andorra, a very small mountain country between Spain and France, in the Pyrenees. There the average person lives to 83.5. Of the larger (100,000+) populations, Japan leads the way with a 81.6 year average life expectancy.

And, of course, as has almost always been the case, women can expect to outlive men every single time.

If you want to read more, click here and here.


Over the years, I have engaged in considerable deep thought about (among other things): Our place in the universe, ancient civilizations, human migrations, international conflicts, local and world economics, ozone depletion, the human genome, cloning, pollution, racism, local and world politics, population growth, life expectancy, extinctions, natural disasters, the environment, healthcare, Facebook, human relations, the space-time continuum and other aspects of relativity, as well as other factors that affect mankind's struggle to exist.

After all of that deep thought, I have arrived at this conclusion: When all is said and done, in spite of or because of what we may or may not do or think, it is just as likely as not that, for better or for worse, everything will turn out one way or another, sooner or later.


"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." (Andrew J. Holmes)

[Mikey's Funnies via Ed Peacher's Laughter for a Saturday; tiny edits by Mark Raymond - quotation found in an old Wit and Wisdom]


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: " that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life." (Deuteronomy 6:2)


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lewis Grizzard

It's the birthday of humorist Lewis Grizzard, a man who made fun of his southern roots, married several times, did speaking tours, recorded CDs, and wrote a column that was syndicated to 450 newspapers. He passed away in 1994 but there is currently a tribute show written by his last wife and manager touring the country. His books - with titles such as, "They Tore Out My Heart and Stomped That Sucker Flat" and "Don't Bend Over in the Garden, Granny ... You Know Them Taters Got Eyes" - remain on sale.



"I don't think I'll get married again. Every five years or so, I'll just find a woman I don't like and give her a house."

"I am the only person from Moreland, Georgia, who ever made the New York Times Bestseller List. I am the only person from Moreland, Georgia, who ever *heard* of the New York Times Bestseller List."

"If soccer was an American soft drink, it would be Diet Pepsi."

"I don't have any out-of-body experiences. I had indeed seen a bright, beautiful light and had followed it, but it turned out to be a K-Mart tire sale."

"Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche."

"There is something wrong when you wait in line thirty minutes to get a hamburger that was cooked for ninety seconds an hour ago."

"Nobody ever knew exactly how much Cordie Mae weighed, but her daddy used to say, 'If I could get $1.25 a pound for that child, I could pay off my truck.' "

"A kid knocked over my beer with a frisbee at the beach once. I threatened him with a lawsuit and then put this curse on him: 'May your voice never change and your zits win prizes at county fairs.' "

"If brains were all that important in a beauty contest, you could enter wearing a Hefty Bag."

"In the south there's a difference between 'Naked' and 'Nekkid.' 'Naked' means you don't have any clothes on. 'Nekkid' means you don't have any clothes on ... and you're up to somethin'!"

"You can't perfume a hog."

"You know why they call it golf, don't you? Because all the good four-letter words were already taken."

[selected from The Anti-Orange Page]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: Yesterday my daughter was wondering about the phrase, "clean as a whistle" and what it meant, because a whistle is, you know, anything but clean. Well, let's start with the fact that before the word clean came to mean "free from dirt," it meant "completely, or absolutely," as in, "the tornado blew the roof of the house clean off." And then think about the stories where a loud whistle could cut clean through a crowd, as in the hubbub of chatter in a saloon, or a gathering of any sort ... and "clean as a whistle" means anything that is particularly attention-getting, or noticeable. Which, in this day and age, something very free from dirt can be, in fact.


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ant Lesson

One of the hats I wear says "Union News Magazine Editor." It's something I do for our Local Postal Workers' Union.

Which puts me in a position to receive links like this one. It's from a "Community Affiliate" of the AFL-CIO and, without getting too political about it, there are several interesting clicks there. The one I've been noodling around in is their "Job Tracker," which is an illustrated way of presenting which employers in a 50-mile radius of your ZIP Code have been downsizing, outsourcing, and running afoul of OSHA and Labor Law.

And that, no matter how you vote, is important data.


The teacher was giving her class of seven-year-olds a lesson in nature by having the class build and enjoy watching an ant farm.

One day she strolled over to the ant farm and said, "Worker ants can carry pieces of food that weigh five times as much as they do. What can we conclude from that?"

One child had this snappy answer: "They don't have a union."

[Joe's Clean Laffs]


WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "To labor is to pray." (Benedictine Motto)


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pilot Fatigue

Feeling fatigued? Maybe have one of those jobs or lives that runs to the routine and you need a bit of a pick-me-up come mid-afternoon?

Try one of these.



"Would the Captain's mother please report to the cockpit for tuck-in duty?"

The plane swerves suddenly to avoid the dog-shaped cloud in front of it.

"If you'll look out on the left side of the aircraft, you'll see the Grand Canzzzzzzzzzzz...."

The Auto Pilot takes control out of a severe sense of self-preservation.

The plane's left turn signal has been on for the entire flight.

[selected from Chris White's Top Five on Travel]


WELCOME to YOUR WEEK: Just over halfway through Eat Better, Eat Together Month, National Bake and Decorate Month, National Liver Awareness Month, and Self-Promotion Month (speaking of which, when was the last time you visited my website?). It's International Credit Union Week, National Chemistry Week, and Freedom from Bullies Week. Today is World Menopause Day, Wednesday is set aside for Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce, and Saturday is Make A Difference Day.


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Four Years

I realized that I failed to provide a link in yesterday's post, and that goes against my motto (as written directly above). So today you get two.

Clio (pronounced "Kly-oh") is a city just north of where I live. Clio (pronounced "Klee-oh") is a major award for advertisers. Clio Visualizing History is a website dedicated to showing American History through visual mediums: photographs, quilts, engravings, etc.

I have no idea how they pronounce it.


A young woman, pursuing a graduate degree in art history, had the chance to go to Italy to study the great works of art found there.

She had, however, a grandmother who needed her constant care and since it would be cheaper to take Grandma with her than pay someone else to do it, the two of them packed their bags and headed off to Italy.

At the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, she points out the painting up on the ceiling.

"Look, Grandma. It took Michelangelo a full four years to get that painted!"

"Oh, my," the grandmother replies. "He and I must have had the same landlord."

[Pastor Tim's CleanLaugh]


WEBSITE of the WEEK: Tomorrow is Dictionary Day, so what better website to feature than one of the most authoritative sources in print or on the web: Merriam-Webster at They also feature a Word of the Day and selected words from popular - they call it "trending" - news stories.


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Triple Nickel

Bonnie and I just returned from our walk. We're up to a mile-and-a-half and we finished today in just under 25 minutes. Our ultimate goal is to do two miles a day in 30 minutes. (30 minutes being the "gold standard" of aerobic exercise current science says we need to maintain optimum health.)

We're not fast, by any stretch of the imagination, but today is a good day to celebrate speed, because 63 years ago today Chuck Yeager broke the speed of sound in the X-1 Rocket Plane built by the Bell Aircraft Company. The plane, modeled after a .50-caliber bullet and nicknamed "Glamorous Glennis," now resides in the Smithsonian.


Back in the 1950s when I was in the Air Force, nicknames were used to identify formation members. For instance, I was "Panic." A four-plane formation made me "Panic Lead," and the other jets were "Panic 2," "Panic 3," and "Panic 4."

However, when we weren't flying in formation, we simply went by the jet's identification number. My favorite plane was AF Jet 19555 or, as we called, the "Triple Nickel." Everyone loved to fly that plane. As soon as we took off, we were "The Triple Nickel."

I remember coming back to Laredo AFB one day after a cross-country flight. Feeling good, I contacted the Tower with, "Laredo Tower, this is Triple Nickel chromium plated stovepipe, space ace on base, boots down and laced, like to bounce and blow!"

Obviously the Tower had heard that kind of stuff before.

They didn't even hesitate in answering, "Rodger dodger, Triple Nickel, chromium plated stovepipe, space ace on base, with your boots down and laced. You've got the nod, hit the sod."

[The Clean Daily Joker via Ed Peacher's Laughter for a Saturday]


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those that hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:30-31)


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Birthday Poem

Many of you know that even though I wasn't selected for "The Biggest Loser: Detroit Edition," I am attempting to make some lifestyle changes, regardless.

And that's the way you have to think about it. If you're thinking "diet," then eventually you'll lose the weight you want, goal accomplished, diet over. And the weight comes back. The changes I'm making now I have to make - and be happy with - for the rest of my life.

It's been just over six weeks since I began, and two of those weeks I gained a pound, but overall I've dropped seven pounds, and will continue to live a better lifestyle. One of these days I'll get around to blogging about my simple three-step process.

In the meantime, I'm using resources such as this to make healthier choices.


A joy of which I'll not partake
Is eating children's birthday cake

To "blow out" candles, in a word
Is really patently absurd

Each puff contains sufficient moisture
To propagate your average oyster

So, Birthday-Boy, and ditto, Daughter
Withhold from me your whiff of water

I do not need some little squirt
To atomize on my dessert

Among the things I will not do
Is have my cake and drink it, too

[Pastor Tim's Pearly Gates]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: During our Color Tour drive this past weekend, we passed a flea market and I wondered from where that nomenclature had originated. Turns out there are a couple of conflicting origin stories, but the one with the most credibility says the name comes to us from Paris, where vendors sold second-hand goods that were rumored to be so rag-tag that they were infested with fleas. In fact, the area where they sold these goods came to be called Le Marche aux Puces, which means "The Market of the Fleas." The term jumped the pond and came to America in the early 1920s.


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Seize the Moment

Technology has changed the way we live. You know that.

Now it's even changing the way we die.


I have a friend who is just possibly the wisest woman on the planet. She lives by a three-word philosophy: seize the moment.

Too many people, she says, put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming, or are too rigid to depart from their routine. She wonders how many women on the Titanic skipped dessert in an effort to cut back.

How many women will eat at home because by the time their husband suggested they eat out, something had already been thawed? Does the word, "refrigeration" mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in for a visit and sat in silence while you finished that episode of "Jeopardy"?

I cannot count the times I have called my sister and said, "How about going to lunch together in half an hour?" She would gasp and stammer, "I can't."

The reasons?

I have clothes on the line.
My hair is dirty.
I wish I had known yesterday.
I had a late breakfast.
It looks like rain.

And my favorite? "It's Monday."

She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because we cram so much into our lives, we even have to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the "conditions" are perfect:

We'll visit the grandparents more when Stevie is potty-trained.
We'll entertain more once we replace the living room carpet.
We'll go on that second honeymoon once we get those last two kids out of the house.

But life has a way of accelerating as you get older. The days get shorter, but the list of promises to ourselves only gets longer.

One morning, we awaken and all we really have to show for our lives is a litany of "I'm going to," "I plan on," and "Someday, when things have settled down a bit...."

When anyone calls my "seize the moment" friend, she is open to adventure and makes herself available for last minute trips. She keeps an open mind about new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. I talk with her for five minutes and I'm ready to trade my bad feet for a pair of roller blades.

You know, my lips had not touched ice cream in ten years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my hips with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process.

The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

[Mikey's Funnies, edited by Mark Raymond]


WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." (Helen Keller, with thanks to Molly Rhea's Quotes of the Day)


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Monday, October 11, 2010

More Alternative Definitions

Columbus Day, 2010. A little bit o'this and that today.

It's late on a Monday where the government and the banks took the day off to celebrate the discovery of America. Turns out it was here all along; it was just a well-kept secret from the rest of the world.

My son informs me that yesterday was "42 Day." You see, in the science-fiction satire series, "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," a supercomputer named "Deep Thought" was built to discover the answer to the question of "life, the universe, and everything." After millennia, Deep Thought announced that the answer was "42." So what has that got to do with yesterday? Apparently 10-10-10 in binary = 42.

Finally, my wife and I returned late this afternoon from a weekend in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan, enjoying autumn colors. I've updated her page at my website and posted a dozen of the many fine pictures she took. I also took the liberty to update my Web Site of the Week catalog. It now stretches all the way back through 2005. I have not yet had the time to determine if all those links still work.



Banquet: The situation after it rained on the Savings & Loan.

Donkey: What you need to get into the mob boss's house.

Firm Belief: Faith in your company.

Goulash: Edible Mascara.

Labrador: The entrance to the laboratory.

Nobility: Lacks the required skills.

Ransom: Jogged a little.

Sherbet: A wager with no chance of losing.

Somersault: The seasoning used in July and August.

[selected from JokeMaster]


WELCOME to YOUR WEEK: October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, Class Reunion Month, Eat Country Ham Month (good thing we bought that pig), National Dental Hygiene Month (note to self: call the dentist), Organize Your Medical Information Month, and it's Squirrel Awareness Month. It's National School Lunch Week. Tomorrow is - get this - International Moment of Frustration Scream Day, and Thursday is Be Bald and Be Free Day. Wheeeee!


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Notice Beauty

Bonnie - being an amateur photographer and all - has wanted for years to take a "color tour" of northern Michigan during this time of year.

So this weekend, we are.


In high school, there was a teacher we were rather fond of, and one day her husband died suddenly of a heart attack. About a week after his funeral, she returned to work and then one day shortly after that, as the afternoon sunlight streamed in through the windows and class was nearly over, she moved aside a few things at the edge of her desk, and sat there.

With a gentle look of reflection, she said, "Before class is over, I would like to share with you all a thought that is unrelated to what I teach, but is something which I feel to be quite important."

She looked out the window for a moment and then back at us. "Each of us is put here on Earth to learn, share, love, appreciate and give of ourselves. None of us knows when this fantastic experience will end. It can be taken away at any moment. Perhaps it is God's way of telling us that we must make the most out of every single day."

Her eyes filling with water, she went on, "So I would like you all to make me a promise. From now on, on your way to school or on your way home, find something beautiful to notice. It doesn't have to be something you see. It could be a scent ... freshly baked bread wafting out of someone's home, or the sound of the breeze rustling the leaves in the trees, or the way an autumn leaf feels.

"Please look for these things and cherish them. I know it sounds trite, but these things are 'the stuff of life.' The little things we are put here to enjoy. The things we often take so much for granted. We must make it important to notice them, for at any time ... it can all be taken away from us."

The class was quiet as the bell rang. We picked up our books and filed out quietly. That afternoon I noticed more things on my way home than I had the entire semester.

[God's Work Ministry via Chapnotes]


WEBSITE of the WEEK: Staying with a nature theme, visit and find out what plants or animals are native to your particular part of the world. Click "Home" and "Set My Location" ... you'll need to register, but it's free. It's also a data-rich site, so there's a lot of text, but you can get a good sense of what to look for on those nature walks.


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Big Date

So last week Bonnie and I attended a fundraiser for our local Food Bank. While there, I submitted a bid in their silent auction for a serving platter autographed by Michigan (and Hollywood) celebrity, Tim Allen.

Well, as you can see by the photo, I won!

But, as my daughter asked ... now what? Display it? Use it? Sell it? Post your thoughts in the Comments section below.


A young man called his mother to explain excitedly that he had just met the woman of his dreams and what should he do next?

"Well, your father sent me flowers, and then invited me over for a home-cooked meal," Mom replied.

"That's a great idea! I'm seeing her on Saturday ... I'll do it!"

Sunday rolls around and Mom rings up her son to see how the big date had gone.

"Oh, Mom," moans the son, "it didn't go so well. I was totally humiliated."

"I'm so sorry! What happened?"

"Well, she insisted on washing the dishes," the son explained.

"And that's a problem for you....?" Mom inquires.

"We hadn't eaten yet."

[Good Clean Funnies]


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours." (Psalm 128:1-2)


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Science Party

Getting late (unless you live east of the Atlantic, in which case it's *really* early), so just a quick link: Popular Mechanics has announced their Breakthrough Awards for 2010.



Ampere would worry that he wasn't current.

Darwin would wait to see how the party evolved.

Dr. Jekyll would decline on the basis that he hadn't been feeling himself lately.

Edison would think the idea was illuminating.

Einstein would have a relatively easy time finding the place.

Gauss would be invited for his magnetic personality.

Heisenberg would be uncertain that he could make it.

Hertz would wait until the parties were held with greater frequency.

Ohm would resist the idea.

Pavlov would be drooling with anticipation.

Wilbur and Orville Wright would be there, if they could get a flight out of town.

[Alan Smith via JokeMaster]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: Let's do a science-y word this week: microcosm (my-kro-ko-sim). It's a compound made up of two Greek words: "mikros" and "kosmos" -- literally, "small world." It is generally used these days to describe a very small system or reality that is used to explain or describe a larger one. As in, "the television show Lost was a microcosm of society in general."


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Two Different Things

I've been helping out our local swim team with their computer during meets (tonight was a meet) and between that, my daily walk and my little bit of napping, the day has slipped away.

So just the joke again today. Sorries!


A teenage boy was playing some basketball in the family driveway one evening, when he stopped and came in the house. Turns out he had lost a contact lens. After a fruitless search, he told his mother it was nowhere to be found.

Undaunted, Mom went back outside and returned a short time later, contact lens on her fingertip.

"How did you find it, Mom?" the teenager queries.

"We weren't looking for the same thing," Mom replies. "You were looking for a very small piece of clear plastic. I was looking for $150."

[with thanks to Randy Walker's Clean Humor Email List]


WORDS FOR YOUR WEEK: "You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance." (Franklin P. Jones)


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Washed Dog

Well, the weather went from partly sunny to mostly cloudy and back again ... the temperature was a brisk 52 degrees ... and Bonnie and I walked the three miles with a friend in just about 45 minutes, so that was pretty good. (That's me to the left right before we started.) Thanks again to all who contributed to the cause!

At the end of our little jaunt, we were ... well, sweaty. Some of our clothes *definitely* needed to see the inside of a washer. Even in the cool weather.

The folks at Wallet Pop have put together a pretty good feature on detergents.


A young lad of about eight was in the corner grocery one day, picking out a pretty good-sized box of laundry detergent. The grocer walked over and, trying to be friendly, asked him if he had a lot of laundry to do and did he need any help with his selection?

"Oh, no," replied the boy, "I'm not doing laundry. I'm going to wash my dog."

"But you shouldn't use this to wash your dog," the grocer advised, pointing to the box the boy was holding. "It's very powerful and if you wash your dog in this, he might get sick. In fact, it might even kill him!"

But the boy was not to be dissuaded and so he carried his big box of detergent to the checkout and paid for it.

About a week later the grocer saw the boy in the store again, this time buying some candy. He asked him how things had gone with his dog.

"Oh, he died," said the boy, sadly.

The grocer, remarked that he was very sorry the boy's dog had passed away, but that "I did try to tell you not to use that detergent on your dog."

"Oh, I don't think it was the detergent that killed him."

"What was it, then?" asked the grocer.

"I think it was the spin cycle."

[Pastor Tim's Pearly Gates]


WELCOME to YOUR WEEK: October, as you must know by now, is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it's Caffeine Addiction Recovery Month, it's Church Library Month, it's Emotional Wellness Month, and it's Apple Month (among many others). It's Financial Planning Week, Customer Service Week, and World Space Week. Tomorrow is World Teacher's Day, Wednesday is Mad Hatter Day, and Friday is National Depression Screening Day.


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Friday, October 01, 2010

2010 Ig Nobels

Well, with your help and my offline donations, I've raised nearly half of my goal amount for this Sunday's CROP Walk. You have until Sunday to donate and help put me over the top! Click here, and thank you!


I promised to bring you a selection of the 2010 Ig Nobel Prize Winners this week, and I am a man of my word.



The Ig Nobel for Engineering goes to Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse and Agnes Rocha-Gosselin of the London Zoological Society plus Diane Gendron from Mexico for perfecting a method of collecting whale snot by using a remote-control helicopter.

The Ig Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to Simon Rietveld from the University of Amsterdam, and Ilja van Beest of Tilburg University in the Netherlands, for discovering that symptoms of asthma can be treated with a roller coaster ride.

The Ig Nobel in Transportation Planning was given to seven scientists from Japan and two from the U.K. for using slime mold to determine the optimal routes for railroad tracks.

The Ig Nobel for Physics goes to a trio from the University of Otago in New Zealand for demonstrating that people slip and fall less often on icy winter paths if they wear their socks *outside* of their shoes.

The Public Health Ig Nobel went to three gentlemen from the Industrial Safety and Health Office in Fort Detrick, Maryland, for experiments proving that microbes cling to bearded scientists.

The Ig Nobel in Management was awarded to three from a university in Italy for proving the "Peter Principle" in corporations can be overcome by promoting people randomly.

[selected from The Annals of Improbable Research; the complete list can be found here]


WEBSITE of the WEEK: I featured this in a daily post back in September of 2008, but I ran across it again and they've added wittier commentary. Check out Pretty soon you'll start seeing them everywhere, too.


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.